August 22nd 2008 6:16 am
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What glorious weather we are having here in Maryland for the month of August.
Elsa today you would have loved to smell the morning air and take your walk around the house enjoying every moment of this new day.
How lovely it is.
We are missing you buddy. So many without you firsts.
Mom Mom is coming over today and it will be so different to have a guest enter the house without the happy greeter.
I know you are happy and healthy at the Bridge Elsa.
You persevered and hid your pain for us. Your strength was imeasurable. You will always be an example for me.
Thank you for looking over us Elsa. I can feel your presence.
Thanks for being our best friend for 15 years.
August 19th 2008 6:14 am
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We brought Elsa's ashes home on saturday. It gives us all comfort to know she is back with us now. I look at this beautiful wooden box with her picture and I can't but help to feel amazed that this little box can hold such a large presence and spirit that was Elsa.
It seems it should be busting out of the seems. Her spirit and life energy was so big.
Her presence is so strong here at home. I am sure she is with us.
I miss being able to hug that old warm, sweet dog. She provided such a comfort to me. Every morning taking care of her is how I started my day. Whether I was providing comfort to her in the way of meds and food and extra attention or she was providing comfort to me by being there and wagging her tail and watching me for clues as to what we were going to do next it all made my day.
We had frustrations of course. Being up all night some times,
being unable to control her pain some days, the messes she made,
the inability to manuever around our yard and neighborhood.
It all frustrated me and I did get mad sometimes. I was sad she was aging and upset that she would be leaving me. Every morning was not picture perfect and you never knew what a day would bring but we worked it out together.
I knew Elsa was disengaging from us. The last few weeks found her more than likely sleeping on her bed. She basically was getting up only to eat and go out to the bathroom which most times she did not even realize she had to do anymore. I could see the signs.
The cloudy eyes, the loss of tone and muscle where in years past her strong muscular lab chest and body gave off so much strength and vitality. The ability to jump and run had long been gone.
I wanted my dog back. I wanted to start over. I did not want her
to continue to decline.
I must believe she is fresh and new now. Running free of that aging old body that served her so well over the years but in the end was the reason for her passing. Her spirit never waivered. Her eyes
loved us to the end even when she could no longer stand.
She will always be a lesson to me. She taught us all so much.
I miss you Elsa girl.
August 17th 2008 8:16 am
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We have been waiting for a sign from Elsa that she was indeed happy at the Rainbow Bridge and I think we received that sign this past weekend.
In preparing for our community yard sale we began to reorganize and clean up our back basement storage which quite frankly has more stuff and junk than any family needs to hold on to.
Among the masses of must keep for future use you never know when you might need it piles we found a small dish about the size of an ashtray. Inside of the dish were some of Melissa's old marbles.
Instead of casting these aside I said let me take them up and rinse them off. They were quite dusty. As I removed the marbles I saw on the bottom of the dish two pearly white teeth. Elsa's puppy teeth!
Instantly I remembered years and years ago placing these in this
very dish. I was astounded that among that huge mess we should happen to find something so tiny and even more amazing is that they had stayed in place all of these years.
Thank you Elsa. I immediately took this as a sign that she is a pup again running like the wind at the rainbow bridge.
Missing you more each day Elsa,
August 15th 2008 9:36 am
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Thanks so much for taking the time to sign my guest book and write me a nice note.
I love reading all of your words and seeing your happy faces.
It means an awlful lot to all of us at this time.
Keep on signing and send to your friends. The more the merrier.
I love those smilin pups.
Love ,Your Guardian Angel, Elsa
p.s. if anyone knows of a pup in need please paw mail me, I would be happy to sprinkle some of my magic angel dust down on them to help them along. I have been sprinkling mom today to help dry her tears.
August 14th 2008 12:27 pm
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Sitting here at my desk working I suddenly recalled a few funny things that Elsa used to do when she was younger and one she did right up until two days before she passed.
After a rain storm or a swim or a bath we would get a large fluffy towel and dry her off. After becoming acustomed to this as a pup it was apparent to us that she absolutely LOVED being towel dried.
She would run thru the towel turn around and run back. This could go on for quite awhile. She was quite intense about it. Back and forth, back and forth until we got worn out holding it up for her.
Also after eating her dinner, not breakfast or lunch just dinner she would run into my living room and proceed to wipe her face up one side and down the other of my brand new sofa. Up and down, up and down. Repeatedly. She used to do this in our family room as well until we replaced the fabric sofa with leather. She just loved the feel of fabric against her face. The fur is still on my sofa and I will leave it there for now as a remembrance of her antics.
One trip to the beach after pulling up at home back from the long
ride from S. Carolina we all tiredly got out of the van and started
taking our bags into the house. Eventually someone noticed
No Elsa. Hey, where's Elsa? We went out front and looked to see if she was surveying her yard as she often did after being away.
Not there. We checked the back. Not there.
On a hunch I looked into the back of the Van. There she was.
Sitting steadfast. I said come on girl time to go in. She was having none of that. She barked at me and turned around and resumed sitting in her place in the back.
I was confused as to why she would not go in.
Again I called her - "come on Elsa time to come in" no go.
Eventually she walked to the door and stuck her nose out and
gave the air a good deep sniff. I could see her nose working.
Upon smelling the air she turned around and headed right back to her spot in the back.
I figured it out. When she got in the Van she was at the beach,
she was not getting out again until she was back at the beach.
I guess she figured it worked the last time. She would just stay in
the Van until we opened the door and like magic she was transported right back to the beach.
Funny girl. She eventually did come out but she sat back there for the longest time. Who says dogs can't reason.
She must have thought we were all nuts to leave a paradise like that
and come back home to a house with a mere yard.
August 14th 2008 7:49 am
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We are missing you Elsa. The last year was an uphill battle for you that was for sure. The frustration of not being able to walk properly and eat as much as you wanted accompanied by the aches and pains of aging were all just a burden on your old body.
Thru it all that tail never stopped wagging. No matter how bad of a day you had you would always find the strength to wag that tail and say a sweet hello to all who came by.
Elsa had such a profound presence. Right from the beginning as a pup everyone loved her. She was as sweet as could be.
Having the ability to work from home I was always able to be there for her. She was a bit spoiled I would say but it never caused her to be destructive in my absence nor did she develop bad habits.
She seemed to know what was expected.
Her favorite things were her family, her frisbee and her soft plush toys. Everyone who entered our home was greeted by Elsa holding one of her big plush buddies in her mouth with the tail wagging so hard it could knock a small person right over. Nobody gained entrance to this house without first greeting the greeter.
Retrieving was very strong in Elsa. She would always bring whatever you threw her back but whether she let you have it was up to her.
Rather than drop whatever she retrieved she would throw it back to you. She would wind up and wing it right at you. When she did this with her frisbee it was quite comical. The wind up was something else and then whoosh..........off it came. You had better be watching for it.
Elsa won a frisbee contest sponsored by Animal Rescue for this.
Not catching the frisbee but for throwing it back to her dad.
They had quite the routine. He threw it way out, she caught it,
ran back, wound up and threw it back to him, he caught it and
threw it back to her, over and over.
She had a favorite tennis ball. We found this out because one day we were out back with about 4 tennis balls. They all looked exactly alike.
We had put a little wading pool out for her because she loved water.
I threw all of the balls into the pool and she jumped in. Repeatedly she sniffed everyone. Finally she choose one. I threw it in the pool for her. She nosed the others out of the way and selected this one.
It was the oldest and dirtiest and smelliest one of the bunch.
I got the picture and took all of the others out of the pool and she continued to play with this one seen better days tennis ball.
For as long as she continued to play ball this was her chosen ball.
Being a Lab her sense of smell was terrific. On rainy days we would
play find the toy. I would make her stay in the other room. I would go into the livingroom and hide her toy. I always put it in something
like a cabinet or a bowl with a lid. I would say READY NOW...
and in she would bound. Around and around the room she would go.
Sniffing, sniffing, sniffing, until she would "point" to where the toy was and she was always right. It was amazing. She loved to play this.
Elsa loved people. Especially kids. She always waited for them to notice her and would be soft and gentle with the littlest ones.
She would run for her toys and nudge them to play with her.
We had a little boy on our street with cerebal palsy. He had a special stroller. His mom would walk him at night along with his sister.
Elsa would greet his sister in her typical fashion by fetching her toy and nudging the little girl to play with her. With the little boy
who appeared not to notice Elsa, she would first drop her toy and
place her head very gently upon his lap. It was amazing the
ability of this dog to realize the difference in these two children.
Always eager and on the go. Elsa was a traveler. Again having the opportunity to work from home she spent countless hours with me while I worked. She was my co pilot in my red mustang.
She had a matching red bandana among many others.
In my work I visit the same places every two weeks.
It was a routine trip. Elsa knew when I went to certain places she
would have a treat waiting and she would wait expectantly in the car as I made my delivery and picked up the $ and attached would
be a treat for her.
She became so used to the normal routine that when we would go to a new place she immediately would sit up and take keen notice of where we were. Instantly she knew we were in a new area.
It has been about a year and a half now since she could accompany me on my trips around town and the first several trips without her were so very sad. It was so hard to leave her with that expectant face looking out the window for me. Not understanding why she could no longer go. Unfortunately she could no longer jump up into my car
and being a small car the back could not allow her the comfort she needed to lay comfortably.
Elsa and her beach. She absolutely loved it. We never saw such
joy with wild abandon as we witnessed when she made a trip to the beach. Because we saw how much she enjoyed water we inquired about places we could go that would accept a Lab. We found that North Myrtle Beach had several properties to rent that were dog
friendly. She made her lst trip to the beach when she was about
3 years old. It was a long trip for us from Maryland to South Carolina.
She was excellent in the car. She rode in the back of my old
Taurus wagon for her lst trip among suitcases and beach toys.
Melissa always took a friend so it was quite jam packed. We would make several stops along the way for her to stretch. She never ever
minded that trip. About 1/2 hour from the beach she seemed to
know she was headed to the ocean. Her ears would perk up and she became keenly interested in the air. From that point on each trip
when we were almost there we would open up the vents to allow
her to smell the air and the reaction was priceless.
At this time in her life she was in tip top shape. Prior to the age of 13 she had never once suffered with arthritis or anything else that would keep her from being able to run like the wind.
Having mastered the art of catching in the air the frisbee and
running back and throwing it to her dad she becamse quite the beach
attraction. Because we started staying at the same beach condo every year she developed her own Elsa following.
In the evenings my husband would take her up and they would
play with her frisbee. Unbeknownst to him a small crowd had been
gathering both on the sand and up on the balconies of the numerous
condos. At one point when she jumped up and caught the frisbee in the air and ran back and threw it right back a thunderous applause rang out. YEAH, LOOK AT THAT DOG GO! It was amazing.
From that point on she always had a crowd of on lookers.
One family in particular who stayed at the same condo year after year made a point to come tell us that they so enjoyed watching Elsa
on the beach that she was in their family home videos.
What a tribute to our girl.
The impact she made on people everywhere did not stop when
she became to old to run and jump. As she aged and we continued
to take her on walks in our neighborhood, and when at our condo at the beach she affected everyone. Numerous people would come up
and pat her head and begin speaking of their old dogs who had gone to the bridge years ago. She always brought out the best in others.
Her presence was a comfort to these people and it made us and
them feel good to talk about their old dog and how they missed
Our next trip to our beach place in September will not be the same.
Elsa will not be with us and there will be countless friends of hers
looking to see if Elsa made the trip. Over the last two years or so
we were never quite sure if she would be coming back. We treated
each trip to her beach as her last one, just in case. I realize now
that she will always be with us at the beach. Her spirit and presence will be felt by us for sure. We are having Elsa cremated and though we want to keep her ashes; we will scatter some of them on her
favorite beach in North Myrtle. Forever she will be a part of the
sand and the water and the wind
Because of her we now have our own place at the beach. She was 12 by the time we had purchased it and one of our most profound sadness stems from the knowledge that she will not be there to share it with us but will join us in spirit.
I will come back to tell you some more Elsa stories. These had come to mind today and I wanted to share them with all of her friends.
Hug your buddies and love them up.
August 13th 2008 4:25 pm
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Mom and Melissa made me a guest book. Please sign it for me when you get a chance. I will be sure to read each and every one of your nice notes.
Love, Angel Elsa
August 13th 2008 7:29 am
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Hi My Elsa,
How different and solemn it is around here now with you gone.
You were such a presence here at home. Even though your mobility was far from good you made your away around and always found a way to say hello.
I miss your daily greetings as you wakened from your frequent naps and came into the kitchen or stood at the top of the steps to my office and waited for me to get you biscuits or take you out.
I miss your sweet face looking out the window as I left and I look for it when I return though I know it will not be there.
Pumpkin and Pavorotti who laid along with you in the livingroom your last two nights and several weeks before that have been sniffing your blanket and pillow that we left set up where you last laid.
They knew you were not feeling well and now wonder where you have gone.
Pumpkin jumped up in your window this morning though he had never done that before.It was as if he was holding your place or looking for you in one of your favorite places.
Speaking of windows your favorite window is covered with your nose smudges and I cannot bring myself to wipe them clean.
Everyone is missing you Elsa. The neighbors are stopping by to say how saddened they are but to also comment on your long life and the joy you gave them watching you play frisbee in the field.
The official welcome home greeter is now missing from Oak Falls
Way. How patiently you stood no matter how bad you felt while you waited for those who had pulled up to see you so you could
wag your tail and say hello in your quiet sweet way.
So many without you firsts. Things are not the same at home.
August 11th 2008 6:23 am
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Today is the first day I will be home alone without you.
I am missing you so much today.
Every day you greeted me. Even if you were sleeping soundly when I came down I knew that in about 5 minutes time you would be rounding that corner and headed to the kitchen. Click, click I heard your nails on the floor. And then there you were with that happy face.
Today there is no happy face rounding the corner though I am listening for the sound of your nails.
There are no meds to dispense or your food bowl to fill.
No more "how are you feeling girl" and patting of your sweet, warm head.
I am missing you Elsa.
August 10th 2008 7:08 pm
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Thanks so much for choosing me as diary pick of the day.
I am so excited. Happy Me.
I am busy settling in here over the rainbow bridge. I am meeting so many new friends and seeing so many of my old friends.
They have been waiting patiently for me and now I have arrived.
I am watching over you and I see you missing me so very much.
Mom, you are going to be okay. You are strong and I will send you I am okay signs. When you greet each day without me look for the things you love around you your flowers, your yard the beautiful day and you will see me there a part of all of it.
Dad, you are tuff. Hold it together dad -- your the man....
My Melissa, my best friend in all the world keep smiling you are so right when you say I am in a better place.
I am in your heart. With every beat of your heart it is me telling you I love you.